Congratulations to Albert Cummings! His new CD, Someone Like You, debuts at #2 on Billboard’s Blues Charts.
Breaking every cliche associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century comes naturally to Albert Cummings.
The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.
The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”
That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”
Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”
Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.
Albert Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. He has built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come.
It's been said that you don't seek out the blues – it seeks out you. For guitar virtuoso Albert Cummings, no words could ring more true. Cummings' masterful guitar wizardry has drawn comparisons to iconic axe legends Albert King, Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix and even his own musical inspiration, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He has graced the stage with such esteemed luminaries as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Susan Tedeschi, Sheryl Crow, and B.B. King, who called Cummings “a great guitarist.” He also has worked with renowned industry producers Jim Gaines and David Z.
Freshly signed to Provogue Records, a division of Mascot Label Group, Cummings joins the elite ranks of such guitar virtuosos as Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales. “It's such an honor to be part of a label that has helped shape the careers of the greatest guitar players our world has ever known,” states Cummings. “I'm confident that Provogue is the right home for me and I look forward to working with them and getting some new music to the loyal supporters that I have.”
With mesmerizing extended guitar jams, Cummings' Fender Strat sings while he takes you on a twisting, turning blues roller coaster. Featuring a tight, pristine tone and strong vocals to match, the seasoned entertainer has incorporated the influence of his musical idols while maintaining a distinct, genre-bending style and sound all his own. With six studio albums, two live records and a new label, Albert Cummings is back and better than ever with his latest release slated for early next year.
Raised in Massachusetts and trained as a master builder, Cummings learned basic guitar chords from his father but then became intrigued with banjo and bluegrass when he was 12. As a teenager, however, he discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan's early material and was astounded by his mastery. After attending a 1987 Stevie Ray Vaughan/Double Trouble concert during college, Cummings' entire world exploded as he turned his attention back to guitar, and he never looked back.
It wasn't until he was 27 that Cummings publicly played with a band for the first time – and that was all it took. He was off and running with his band, Swamp Yankee, serving up the blues throughout the Northeast. After a stunning display of his guitar prowess at a Northeast Blues Society open jam, Cummings qualified to compete in the Blues Foundation's 1999 International Blues Challenge. A year later, he released his first album with Swamp Yankee, The Long Way, an astonishing, critically acclaimed debut. Cummings' skill and intensity garnered attention from Double Trouble members Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, who were so impressed with this relative newcomer that they produced and performed on his first solo record, From the Heart (2003). Reese Wynans also appeared on the record, and it was the first time that Double Trouble recorded an entire album since Vaughan's untimely passing.
After signing a multi-record deal with Blind Pig Records, Tommy Shannon would go on to work with Cummings on his 2004 inaugural release for the label, True To Yourself. Cummings recorded three more stellar albums on the Blind Pig Records label, Working Man (2006), Feel So Good: Albert Cummings Live (2008) and Someone Like You (2015). In 2012, he also self-released the country-rock-blues flavored winner, No Regrets, incorporating multiple musical categories and highlighting his unique versatility.
Following the success of his first live record, a second was self-released in 2017, Live At The '62 Center. It was recorded in his hometown of Willamstown, Massachusetts, and its incredible reception garnered Cummings a Blues Music Award nomination for Blues Rock Album.
Albert Cummings pours his heart and soul into everything he does, and his impassioned, all-inclusive style speaks directly to music lovers everywhere. His dynamic, engaging personality combined with blues musicianship at its finest has created an enduring, loyal fan base worldwide.
Praise for Albert Cummings:
“[The Long Way (2000) is a] barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.” – Bluesprint Magazine
“[On True To Yourself (2004)] he attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness...his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.” – Guitar One
“This recording [Working Man (2006)] is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings' guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”
“Though Albert always walks a fine line between rock and blues, he demonstrates effortlessly [on the live recording, Feel So Good (2008)] that the blues makes everybody feel great.” – Bostonblues.com
“The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin' band, and that's exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on Feel So Good. Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.” – Guitar Edge Magazine
“[Feel So Good is] one of the best live albums recorded in a long time.” – Music Connection
“Cummings' first live album [Feel So Good] provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist's axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.” – Blurt
“All the tracks on [No Regrets (2012)] pop with Cummings’ emotive style not just in terms of what he’s producing, slamming and bending his Strat’s six strings, but also in terms of where he pushes his simple yet soulful voice...That Stevie Ray tonality and combustion is not hard to hear in Cummings’ playing, but make no mistake—he’s not a Vaughan clone. Stylistically, compositionally, lyrically, and vocally he is very much a distinct entity.” – The Phantom Tollbooth
“[On Someone Like You (2017)] Albert gets into Robben Ford territory soloing effortlessly over the rhythm changes...these forays into jazz-blues are a real treat and leave the listener longing for more.” – Blues Rock Review